Monty Soutar ONZM shares the story behind his bestselling and critically acclaimed debut novel, Kāwai: For Such a Time as This. Chaired by Airana Ngarewa.
Kāwai: For Such a Time As This has been in the NZ bestseller list since its launch in Sept 2022 and was shortlisted for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction at the 2023 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
In this epic historical adventure by Monty Soutar, ONZM (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Kahungunu) tells the story of pre-colonial Aotearoa New Zealand like it’s never been told before, drawing on both his extensive academic research as well as a series of extraordinary tohu (signs).
Tracing the author’s own ancestral line, Kāwai: For Such a Time As This reveals a picture of an indigenous Aotearoa in the mid-18th century, through to the first encounters between Māori and Europeans. It describes a culture that is highly sophisticated with an immense knowledge of science, medicine, and religion; proud tribes who live harmoniously within the natural world; a highly capable and adaptable people to whom family and legacy are paramount. However, it is also a culture illuminated by a brutal undercurrent of inter-generational vengeance, witchcraft, and cannibalism.
Kāwai: For Such a Time As This is the first in a series of three books the respected historian hopes will reveal the role of colonisation in shaping Aotearoa New Zealand, balanced with an honest appraisal of the country in pre-colonial times.
Please note: Guyon Espiner is no longer available to chair this session, as previously advertised. The kōrero will be facilitated by Airana Ngarewa.
All pukapuka will be for sale through our Festival bookstore Paper Plus Nelson, both at their shop and at their stall at Pukapuka Talks sessions - your opportunity to meet authors and get your books signed! You can also purchase books from Paper Plus online.